8 Reasons 5G Will Change the Technology Landscape

Overview The general purpose technology that’s ushering in the Fourth Industrial Revolution is 5G. To illustrate how 5G is enabling a leap forward in technology innovations, Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg outlined on the CES 2019 keynote stage eight capabilities brought about by 5G that have the potential to transform the world.

Currencies 1 & 2: Speed and Throughput

Compared to 3G and 4G, 5G is a quantum leap forward in terms of speed and throughput, supporting 10 GB per second of throughput, which is 1,000 times more than we have today.

To put that in perspective, a 90-minute movie takes three or four minutes to download on a 4G network. With 5G, the same movie would take 10 second to download on an ultrawideband network.

This type of speed and throughput results in content being delivered to the audience in near real-time.

Two use cases of 5G relate to storytelling.

The New York Times is working with Verizon to launch a 5G Lab in its main newsroom. With early access to 5G technology and equipment, the Times is experimenting in gathering more immersive media and delivering stories with greater immediacy.

“With the speed and lack of latency, 5G can spark a revolution in digital journalism,” said New York times CEO Mark Thompson.

Walt Disney Studios has partnered with Verizon on its StudioLab, an innovation center and program for developing the next generation of film and content technologies. A joint innovation platform includes 5G-enabled cloud-based production workflows, connectivity for digital posters and stands, and live volumetric performance capture and streaming of animated characters to cinemas.

“5G is going to be huge,” said Walt Disney Studios CTO Jamie Voris. “We believe that technology has the potential to fundamentally change everything about how entertainment media is created and consumer.”

Currencies 3 & 4: Mobility and Connected Devices

Mobile connections are measured in speed, and a 4G network is roughly 350 km/hour while 5G is roughly 500km/hour. These fast connections enable devices to communicate with each other in an unprecedented fashion.

IoT and connected devices are limited by the number of devices that can connect in a given area. For 4G, 100,00 devices can be connected per square kilometer. With 5G, 1 million devices can be connected in the same space.

To demonstrate how the advancements in mobile connection speed and the number of connected devices can transform an industry, drone company Skyward shared how its customers could use 5G-enabled drones to change the way they do business.

“The ability to gather data and analyze it in real time is what will really change the way business gets done,” said Skyward President Mariah Scott. “This is the promise of 5G.”

Currencies 5 & 6: Service Deployment and Energy Efficiency

Service deployment, or the time to spin up new services based on a software demand from a customer, is greatly reduced with 5G. The obvious benefit is operational efficiencies, but it also opens up possibilities for innovations based on these increased capabilities.

In terms of energy efficiency, 5G is promising to reduce up to 90% of power usage, which can help make the Fourth Industrial Revolution a positive change for the climate.

“Our industry needs to think about all the equipment we’re using and how we can improve CO2 emissions,” Vestberg said.

Currencies 7 & 8: Latency and Reliability

Latency is particularly important with augmented reality and virtual reality, where it can create nausea for the user and lag between the user’s actions and the immersive reality environment’s response. And when systems depend on 5G for critical functions, reliability is paramount.

One example of how 5G can revolutionize industry is through augmented reality in health care, specifically surgery. MEDIVIS cofounder Dr. Chris Morley shared how his company uses augmented reality, computer vision and machine learning to rethink how medical imaging is used throughout surgery.   

“5G is an open invitation not simply to change how we do certain things, but to fundamentally rethink how to do all of it,” said Dr. Chris Morley, cofounder of MEDIVIS. “5G represents an enormous coming together. And in health care, bringing pieces together and making things simpler is one and the same with making them safer.”

By itself, 5G is the natural progression of the broadband network. But when you consider the quantum leap in capabilities and the implications of these improvements for industries, consumer and society, 5G is the kind of innovation that can alter the technology landscape.

5G Implications for U.S. Businesses

To learn about the high-level implications and impact of 5G to the U.S. economy and business environment, see the Consumer Technology Association (CTA)™ research report 5G U.S. Market Impact.

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